If you are inquisitive about the best woods for smoking just take the short trip to our article. I’m sure you will get plenty of information. There are various types of woods you can use for smoking different dishes. In general, you will find two types of woods-Hardwood and Softwood.
Hardwood comes from fleeting plants that shed leaves yearly; softwood, on the other hand, comes from evergreen plants. When it comes to smoking, hardwood is the best choice for you because softwood burns easily and creates black smoke. In addition, softwood contains more moisture than the hardwood. While burning, softwood produces harsh-testing soot. It may release toxins or tars. Such facts can make your dish less delicious and adversely affect your environment.
Aim for four verities of woods- logs, chunks, chips, and pellets. Logs are most likely to burn for 45 minutes depending on the size. Chunks are used with charcoals. Chunks are kept over charcoals to create smoke. To generate light and steady smoke you can use chips. Always use hardwood pallets for a better taste. Wood pallets are essentially eco-friendly.
Never soak the woods you are going to use. Soaking only diminishes smoke production. For better effect always mix well with charcoal.
Woods for Beginners
Choosing the best woods can be perplexing for beginners. But nothing to worry, you just need to grab some ideas. Chiefly, there are three types of woods you need to tuck your head into.
Strong wood such as Mesquite can be used for stronger meets. You can choose it for some selective beef dishes, lamb and red meat.
Secondly, woods of these categories, such as- apple, peach, cherry, pear, are recognized as Mild woods. These woods shall give your dish a sweet flavor. Mild woods are recommended to use for cooking fish, pork, chicken, or other poultry.
Thirdly, woods of oak, maple, and pecan are taken to be moderate woods. These types of woods will bring your dish a distinct flavor without making the taste overpowering. You can certainly smock sausages, beef, fish or brisket.
You can also collect inexpensive woodchips to bring flavor to your food. Try buying Weber Woodchips, the applewood chips will give your ham a delicious sweet flavor.
Look into Jack Daniel’s wood BBQ Smoking, this one shall give our BBQ dish a succulent whiskey flavor.” Western Mesquite Wood Smoking Chips” has a sweet yet hard flavor. You can grill lamb, beef, or duck with this one.
Best wood for Smoking Fish
While smoking fish you need to look for woods available in your region. In Australia, BLUE GUM WOOD is best for smoking fishes. The woods of the MAPLE tree, on the other hand, is a great option in Canada. For smoking Fish the woods you need to look out in general are:
- Red Ironbark
- Black Wattle Wood
It is a tradition in the Northwestern United States to smoke Salmon with Adler. Fruit woods will do well in smoking fishes. Mesquite may attain a kind of bitter taste compared to the other woods. Because of having mild smoke, Blue Gumwood is suitable for fishes. Adler and pecan are also known to bring a good flavor for fishes.
Best woods for smoking Chicken
Choosing woods for chicken varies according to the size and density of the meat. Let’s get into the general list of woods for chicken.
- Cherry wood
- Macadamia Wood
A good chicken with BBQ rub is a perfect match with Applewood. If you want a stronger flavor for your chicken then try Maplewood. To give your chicken beautiful red color try Cherrywood. Cherrywood differs from the rest in giving your dish a reddish smoky color. For a bit, richer sweet flavor uses Pecan woods. For Turkey Pecan is a great match. Remember, you can mix sweeter fruit woods with Oak or hickory to establish earthly essence on your dish.
The best wood to smoke Turkey
Smoking turkey is commonplace today. Even so, beginners might find it a hard nut to crack. Turkeys can be easily overcooked. That’s why you gotta be careful in choosing woods for smoking turkey. Too strong flavor can spoil your turkey causing bitterness.
Try to collect woods like Apple or Cherry. The testing woods like Cherry is well known for giving a sweet and mellow flavor. If you are working on bringing variations on your taste, then aim for mixing Maple and Plum. Also consider using Mulberry, Pecan, Nectarine, peach, or olive to smoke turkey discarding the risk of overpowering flavor.
Best woods for Smoking Burger
Burgers are special when a smoky grilled flavor added. Hickory is the best option for hamburgers as it brings a bacon-like flavor. You can simply go with Oak too. It gives a versatile flavor. Always keep in mind, Burgers are better cooked with fewer moisture woods. Your burger is in good hands if you use hardwoods. To bring a variety of flavors you can use any fruitwoods you come by. Cherrywood, for instance, is well-known for a sweeter and smoky flavor.
Best wood for smoking Brisket
Smoking brisket takes time. So you need to use the kind of wood that will burn slow and the heat will remain longer. Brisket is common of massive size, so you need to choose hardwoods with less moisture. Hickory just does fine.
But you can also consider using Mesquite, Red oak, Cherry, Applewood, or Maplewood. If you choose Applewood to make sure to mix it with a strongly-flavored wood. Cherry and Apple shall nicely pair with Hickory to give a subtle smoky flavor.
Best wood for smoking cheese
Cheese can be unfamiliar to people when it comes to smoking. But believe me, you can take your regular cheese to the next level of flavor just by smoking. There are various types of cheese we buy. Hard or semi-hard cheese sits fine with smoking. For example- Cheddar, Hard mozzarella, Gouda, Blue cheese, and Swiss. You need to collect woods that compliment your cheese. Such viable woods are-
Hickory, Oak, and Pecan add bacon-like flavor. To obtain some extra sweet flavor you can mix them with Sugar maple or Cherry.
Best woods for smoking pork ribs and pulled pork
A poor selection of wood might ruin the taste of pork ribs. So, careful when you choose.
Hardwood like Hickory can be the best pick to give your pork a strong flavor. But always keep in mind not to use it too much. Because it will result in a bitter taste
Beginners may try Red Oak. It has a savory yet rarely overpowering undertone flavor. It is quite popular in choosing woods for Pork.
To give your pork a unique and intense flavor, try Mesquite. It is easier to burn too.
For mild and sweet flavor use Applewood. If you are into mild, sweet and nutty flavor, pick Pecan. Cherry is capable of gifting your pork a beautiful red color. The combination of Hickory and Cherry shall deliver succulent pork.
Avoid pine, Redwood, Greenwood, or any chemically treated wood for smoking pork. Stay away from Alder when it comes to Pulled pork. It tends to give a too strong flavor you don’t want.
Best wood for smoking venison
Venison or the meat of the game animal is generally smoked well with Hickory. The flavor produced by Hickory is slightly pungent, yet it’s bacon-like flavor is worth trying. To produce a delicate yet sweet taste you can pick Alder. For barbequing, Alder is the best choice. Applewood is a great option for ham and poultry. It shall give the meat a dark brown skin with sweet and fruity flavor.
Though Ash-wood burns fast, it can create a distinct flavor on the meat. To produce heavy-smoked flavor pick Oakwood. You can also consider using Birches, a mild-hard wood, that generates a slightly sweeter essence like the Maple.
Where to find?
Once you are done having knowledge over smoking woods the next thing that is going to pop in your head is “Where to find?”. No doubts, you can buy logs at a cheap rate if the wood is of your region.
You can contact local stores and super shops for Wood pellets and chips. Try online stores like BBQ supply stores(such as- Chunks from Cutting Edge Firewood) or kitchen supply stores for chunks. Amazon too can be a good source for you.
Avoid purchasing chunks from roadside vendors. With the intention of making a quick buck they sell low-quality chunks. They don’t dry chunks properly. Woods with higher moisture will ruin both your dish and environment.
You can make smoking woods for sure. But that is quite a difficult task to do. You need to take special care of drying chunks properly, try the air-drying method. Cut chunks measuring 2 inches.
The decision of choosing woods for smoking with smoker grills depends on several facts. It depends on the dish you are trying to create, the ingredients you will include, and the tradition you need to follow.
Choose woods to create a variety of tastes. Also as a citizen, try using woods that are less likely to harm your precious environment. Always pay attention to temperature, keeping low temperatures will help you reach the destination of a good dish. Allow your turkey or pork to soak all the flavor from the smoke.
Smoking is quite fun! Learn more and give it a good practice. Happy smoking!